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Pa. budget framework supports major funding boost for public schools

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 9, 2015 11:04 PM

Sources in the Pennsylvania Capitol say that the framework reached Monday for a state budget agreement includes a $400 million increase to K-12 public education this year.

While $350 million would be funneled into the basic education subsidy, an additional $50 million would go to special education. Pre-K programming would also see a boost, but sources differed on the amounts.

The state's budget for higher education would increase by 5 percent.

Cybers appealing funding cuts in Chester

By Laura Benshoff for Newsworks on Nov 9, 2015 07:36 PM

Four cyber charters are appealing a case in Delaware County that reduced their funding for special education students last month.

In that decision, Judge Chad Kenney ruled that the Chester Upland School District could reduce special education tuition payments to all charters from $40,000 a student to just over $27,000.

Specters of a school's closing

By Beth Uzwiak on Nov 9, 2015 04:04 PM

For his installation reForm, artist Pepón Osorio relocated a classroom from the closed Fairhill Elementary School to another classroom – at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in North Philadelphia, a mile from Fairhill.  

To find reForm, you have to wander through Tyler’s occupied basement studios until, pushing through some double doors, you come across a row of cubbies from Fairhill. Jackets and backpacks hang from coat hooks. A stuffed bobcat, the school’s mascot, peers at you from atop a stack of books. Turn the corner, and a life-sized cutout of Fairhill’s former principal, Darlene Lomax-Garrett, welcomes you to the installation.   

Help the Notebook as we examine standardized testing in Pa.

By Paul Socolar on Nov 6, 2015 06:16 PM

The debate about standardized testing has taken center stage in recent weeks, with the Obama administration acknowledging that its policies have contributed to a climate of overtesting in schools.

Teachers put their literacy training to work at Taylor Elementary

By Fabiola Cineas on Nov 6, 2015 05:16 PM

Es tiempo de limpiar y regresar a sus mesas,” said Carolena Lescano as she called the attention of the 26 2nd-graders in her dual-language classroom at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

Then in English: “It’s time to clean up and return to your tables.” 

Children's books by and about Native Americans

By Sarah Stippich on Nov 6, 2015 04:18 PM

Almost 100 years ago, the first attempts were made to establish a holiday honoring American Indians. These days, some state and local governments have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, and since 1990, November has been widely recognized as Native American Heritage Month. This November, encourage the children in your life to learn more about American Indian cultures.*

Pa. considers revising vaccination requirements

By Taunya English for NewsWorks on Nov 6, 2015 04:02 PM

Pennsylvania schoolchildren who show up for classes without all their immunizations would have far less time to get up to date under a new proposal put forth by the state Department of Health.

There will be plenty of debate on the proposal in coming months, but Pennsylvania's health secretary said families should have five days – instead of eight months – to get school children vaccinated.

Does Pa. provide a 'thorough and efficient' education? A panel considers.

By Greg Windle on Nov 5, 2015 12:26 PM

Last Monday, the National Constitution Center hosted a panel where four people actively involved in education policy discussed the role of the Pennsylvania constitution in improving access to quality public education. The discussion was framed around the contentious policy of “school choice,” which advocates the expansion of charters and magnet schools.

Realtors impressed by River Ward elementary schools

By Logan Mabe on Nov 5, 2015 10:40 AM

Most of the moms and dads who organized the River Wards Public School Realtor tour won’t see their kids join a kindergarten class for a few years, but they couldn’t contain their enthusiasm for promoting their neighborhood schools.

That’s why the parents reached out to Center City Realtors to give agents an up-close look at what the parents feel is the strength of the developing neighborhoods of Fishtown, Kensington, and Northern Liberties – the public schools.

Mayor-elect Kenney revisits school to reiterate plan for citywide pre-K

By Katie Colaneri for NewsWorks on Nov 5, 2015 10:30 AM

The day after winning the Philadelphia mayor's race, Jim Kenney returned to a public elementary school that he had visited on the campaign trail. One kindergartner asked him a pretty pointed question: "What can mayors do for kids?"

"For kids? Our best," Kenney replied. "The best we can."

What does the changing Pa. Supreme Court mean for school funding, charters?

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Nov 4, 2015 07:29 PM

The results of Tuesday's Pennsylvania Supreme Court election could have wide-ranging implications for a number of high-profile cases related to education issues.

Three Democrats swept the open seats on the state's highest court – shifting the balance of power to 5-2 in the party's favor when they assume the bench in January.

Pa. high schools get their grades

By David Limm on Nov 4, 2015 06:06 PM

High schools received their grades Wednesday as the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released the School Performance Profile scores that it uses to rate schools, along with results on the Keystone Exams.

The state's school accountability system provides a snapshot of student achievement and growth that takes into account numerous measures, with most of the weight going to standardized test scores.

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